Thursday, 29 November 2012

Rob Ford Gets Bad Lip Reading Treatment

Because I can. And because this made me giggle uncontrollably. And because I will probably want to see it again.

BONUS: If you liked that, you'll like Jackpot Fishy Poopypants

h/t Torontoist

'Pro-life' My Ass

Disgust and shame are warring in my head over this. I think disgust is winning.
An attempt to remove the obstacles that prevent Canadian generic drug companies from copying life-saving pharmaceuticals and shipping them to the world’s poorest countries at cut-rate prices has been defeated by the Conservative government.

A private member’s bill sponsored by New Democrat MP Hélène Laverdière that aimed to correct the many flaws in Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime went down to a narrow defeat Wednesday evening when all but seven members of the Conservative caucus voted against it.
So. The renegade seven surely included all those CON stalwarts of protecting life from conception to natural death, yes?

Um, no.

The yeas:

Mike Allen
James Bezan
Michael Chong (ranked as pro-choice by ARCC)
Ben Lobb
Maurice Vellacott
David Wilks
Terrence Young

Well, look at that. Vellacott actually voted what all fetus fetishists would like us to think is a conscience. He actually voted for cheaper life-saving drugs for poor people.

Funny, the Big Noise anti-choicers are not on the list. Not Bruinooge, not Woodworth, not Warawa, not Trost, not Ambrose. All voted against.

And not one CON woman voted for.

Yep. Disgust is winning.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Another Majority of Vandals?

Despite what the CONs say, Canada is a progressive country.

Yet, with our fucked-up electoral system, the majority vote is split so that the CONtempt Party squeaks in.

This must stop.

Look at yesterday's by-election results.

In Calgary Centre, the CON got 36.9% of the vote while other (variously progressive) parties combined for 61%. Numbers sound familiar?

They should. They are very close to the overall ranking in the 2011 federal election.

A party with less than 40% support is now vandalizing a progressive country to the shock and disgust of the majority.

I am not a partisan but I was delighted to hear someone actually in politics say out loud what ordinary people are increasingly focussed on.

We must stop the CONservative vandals.
Liberal MP Joyce Murray launched her bid for the leadership of the federal Liberal Party on Monday with a call for “one-time” only cooperation among the three major opposition parties in the next federal election in order to defeat Prime Minister Harper and bring in lasting reform to Canada’s electoral system.

Pointing out Mr. Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) and his Conservatives won a majority government with only 39.6 per cent of the vote, Ms. Murray (Vancouver Quadra, B.C.) said her campaign will include a new proposal for the kind of cooperation discussed since the 2011 election by Liberals, New Democrats and Green Party figures.

Many, including former NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley, Valley, B.C.), have said the only way to defeat Mr. Harper’s election machine is by joining forces to field only one candidate from all three opposition parties in ridings the Conservatives won with less than 50 per cent of the vote.
A one-time only deal. Worked out at the riding level. Perhaps with a run-off vote among the non-CON candidates in advance to determine the best chance to beat the CONs.

Then, election reform.

Now. How do we do this? We've got two years.

On Twitter, Sadie Tucker says she has been phoning and writing riding offices and talking to friends.

Let's get this show on the road. Canada cannot withstand another majority of vandals.

ADDED: Elsewhere our polyboggous (h/t deBeauxOs) bud, Mandos, has an interesting analysis of the mess Canadian politics is in and wonders if an Amerkican-style two-party system is inevitable.

ADDED: Pundit's Guide says it won't work. Lotta reasons, too. *sigh*

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mandos a Maiden?

Our Námo Mandos blogs Elsewhere.


Friday, 23 November 2012

A Smoking Gun?!?! Could it be?

So close, yet still no cigar.

Old-school investigative journalism techniques have been most effectively demonstrated for the young'uns by Curtis and Maher in this recent piece.
Several people listed as donors to a Conservative riding association in Montreal say they did not make the donations attributed to them by the party.

The donations – in the amounts of $333.33, $666.66 and $733.33– appear on the 2009 Elections Canada filing of the Conservative riding association of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, a downtown Montreal district [where] Conservative candidate Charles K. Langford, a businessman and professor, came fifth in the riding in 2008 and fourth in 2011.

From 2006 to 2009, the Conservative riding association collected $583,318.96 from 931 donations, many from people connected with engineering companies and law firms. It also distributed $376,739.36 – mostly to other ridings around Quebec. The Megantic-Lerable riding of Industry Minister Christian Paradis, for instance, received $41,841 in 2009.

[...]The Conservatives collected many donations at a big fundraising dinner held at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth hotel on May 20, 2009, according to the riding’s financial officer, Benoit Larocque.

[...]Senator Leo Housakos, who was then Harper’s key organizer in Quebec, organized the event. Housakos, a close friend of Harper’s then-director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, did not respond to queries about his role in fundraising for the riding association.
Soudas was recently mentioned in disclosures offered by witnesses in the Charbonneau Commission inquiry into corruption in construction contracts awarded in Quebec.

More DJ! posts with regard to alleged CPC corruption, dodgy fundraising, voter suppression and illegal election undertakings can be found here, here, here, here and here.

Stephen Maher and his other colleague Glen McGregor deserve Jubilee Medals ... perhaps the Order of Canada for their steadfast investigations and reporting into the nefarious and possibly felonious activities of the CON party.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


British fetus fascist and lying MP Nadine Dorries is the first contestant voted out of a reality show.
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire said she decided to take part in the reality TV show to get her controversial views on issues such as abortion across to the wider public. But if that was the case, she appears not to have won them over.

Her unpopularity with the public was clearly evident in viewers' repeatedly voting for her to undergo bushtucker trials, eating a range of gruesome delicacies including a camel's toe, an ostrich's anus and some cattle genitals, which the Sun recorded with the headline "GO NAD!".
Seemingly, anti-choice is as unpopular in the UK as it is here in Canada. Too bad we can't vote for SUZYALLCAPS, venomous homophobe and misogynist @LettingSmokeOut, or failed abortion analogist Stephen Woodworth to chow down on some bull shite balls.

(Read the comments at the Guardian link.)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Fun with Jubilee Medals

Let's see now. Who's more deserving of a Queen's Jubilee medal? A couple of convicted serial abortion clinic harassers -- one of whom was actually IN JAIL at the time, the other quickly following her AGAIN -- or a dedicated, indefatigable public servant serially harassed by his government employer?

Senator Colin Kenny was the one scheduled to hand out the silverware Monday afternoon to Page, arguing the budget watchdog deserved the recognition for “his dogged and courageous pursuit of information on behalf of all Canadians.”

“Mr. Page has demonstrated remarkable determination to pursue his mandate without fear or favour, despite repeated attempts to define his role in a way too narrow to be of full benefit to Canadians, despite bureaucratic intransigence, and despite financial constraints that have been placed on his office that have reduced his capacity to investigate,” a statement from Kenny’s office reads.
Is it wrong of me to pray that some ballsy MP (each has 30 medals to give out to anyone they please) will kick up this shit-storm?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Support for Unrestricted Abortion Skyrocketing

Oh dear. That old bugaboo, unintended consequences, is biting back big time.

In both Canada and the US, classic overreach on the abortion issue is creating a 'backlash among moderates'.

Here in Canada, support for unrestricted abortion is skyrocketing

The question asked on October 27: Should abortion be legal in all circumstances, should it be legal in some circumstances or should it be illegal in all circumstances?
A Forum Research poll for the National Post recently asked 1,735 randomly selected Canadians 18 years of age or older when abortion should be legal.

A full 60% of Canadians said always.

That’s surprisingly high. Even more surprising: That number’s skyrocketed in recent months. In a similar Forum poll conducted last February, only 51% of Canadians took that position.
Leap of 9 points in 8 months. Woo.

Pundits speculate that the cause may be the attempted reopening of the abortion debate -- that nobody wants -- by wannabe allegorist Stephen Woodworth.

Perhaps amplified by moronic musings on rape and magic lady parts by USian ReThuglican candidates.

In the US, a poll taken after the election shows solid majority support for abortion rights.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life.
Note that both these surveys were taken before the public learned of the death-by-religion of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland.

Wonder what the next polls will show. . .

Happy Birthday to Us!

Unbelievably, DAMMIT JANET! turns four years old today.

Here are the two launch announcements.

At one, we had some confessions to make.

By two, we were getting a bit blasé.

At our third b-day party, we were showing some leg(s). (Ok, not really.)

For me, the most notable bloggy event of our past year was the bust-up with ProgBlogs and the subsequent creation of Canadian Progressive Voices (for which DJ! claims no credit atallatall).

I hafta say though how pleased I am at how DJ! has evolved. We have collected such interesting monsters writers and commenters.

ADDED: From the comments, Beijing York's gift.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Of Hijabs, Burkas and Haircuts ...

At DJ! we have approached the question of women wearing religious coverings in the same manner that we consider the sexual violation of women and children, femicide, access to abortion, and the eradication of female genital mutilation.

How does it affect women facing these situations, what have women with knowledge and experience said and how can we support leurs revendications?

We have also pointed out Islamophobia in all its overt and covert forms.

Thus, we're perplexed that this complaint has not been challenged by other women.

Could it be that there's a fear of being slagged for being un-progressive, sexist and homophobic for not supporting Faith McGregor's grievance?

[...] a woman with a penchant for men’s hairdos walked into the Bay St. Terminal Barbershop. Faith McGregor asked the male barbers if they offer the “businessman cut” and, of course, they do but when it became clear she wanted the cut for herself the men demurred, saying their Muslim religion forbids them from touching women who are not their relatives.

Almost immediately, McGregor filed a human rights complaint with the tribunal, saying she felt like a “second class citizen.” Later, on a point of principle, McGregor declined the barbershop’s offer of a haircut from a different barber.

Life in Toronto is already complicated, with gridlock, unaffordable housing and Rob Ford’s football schedule, and now we have to contend with this?

In the barbershop case, a wise coach, or adjudicator, would say that both rights must be accommodated. So here’s a solution that won’t require months of testimony before a quasi-judicial hearing: In the future, barbershops whose staff have particular religious restrictions must ensure they can serve all clients by hiring a person with different beliefs or by offering an appointment with a fill-in barber willing to do the job.

Even better, here’s another way out: Let market forces prevail by giving your $20 polymer bill to a welcoming barbershop down the block.

How would an Ontario Human Rights Commission resolution - in favour of McGregor's demand - advance in principle or improve in practice the status of women in Toronto or anywhere, whether they're lesbians, muslim, or struggling to survive in a misogynist world?

There are many battles worth fighting but I don't see how this one is valid.

Like knee-jerk legislation here and elsewhere that forbids niqab face coverings, I sense that this complaint veils a deliberate expression of islamophobia.

UPDATE: Information about the business in question. Mixed reviews from the male clientele, it would seem.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

This is *really* all they got

NOTE: See clarification below.

Totally predictably, the fetus fetishists are responding to the deliberate torture and inevitable death of Savita Halappanavar, with bleats of 'Butbutbut, women die of abortions too and the media ignores it!!!!'

Viz, Mrozek and on Twitter, Bertha Wilson Motion, who tweeted today:

Hilariously, the link leads to this (screen-capped for the click-resistant).

Two things.

1) Abortion in Canada is very safe, with a mortality rate of 1 per cent, oddly enough, the same as for appendectomies.

Funny, one doesn't see SHRIEEEEKING headlines about patients being butchered in BOTCHED (it is always 'botched') appendectomies, does one?

2) Scholarly papers are really rarely retracted.

Remember our pal, Perfesser of Home Economics and BAD Scientist for Hire, Priscilla Coleman?

She gets spanked for her fetus fetishizing BS so regularly that credible journals should run screaming from her submissions.

In July this year, RH Reality Check reported:
Earlier this year, an analysis by leading researchers completely discredited a key article used as "evidence" by the state of South Dakota and anti-choice supporters in their arguments to the 8th Circuit Federal Appeals Court supporting a law forcing doctors to tell women seeking to terminate a pregnancy that abortion is linked with higher risks of suicide and depression.

The researchers also called on the editors of the Journal of Psychiatric Research (JPR) in which the article was originally published in 2009 to retract the article, a step now under consideration by the editors, one of which cited the article's "serious deficiencies."
. . .
Sources indicate that the journal's editors, including Alan Schatzberg, editor-in-chief of JPR, are discussing a retraction of the Coleman paper, and RH Reality Check is awaiting a reply to an email to Dr. Schatzberg asking for clarity on the status of the retraction.
RH Reality Check promised to keep on it and I could find no further mention of it.

The point remains -- publications are really, really reluctant to say 'oopsie' and pull something they've supposedly vetted and had peer-reviewed.

It takes a colossal fuck-up or outright fraud on the level of Andrew Wakefield to get publishers to act.

One wonders what level of BS the retracted paper achieved. (ADDED LATER: See clarification below.)

Here's the conclusion of an abstract BWM also linked to on a study of one death from medical abortion.
The frequency of infection following medical abortion is low. The rapid and fatal course of this infection is similar to other obstetric and gynecologic cases reported in the literature. Although providers should remain vigilant to the possibility of infection following medical abortion, the overall proven safety of medical abortion remains the same.
Safe. Unlike taking oneself to an Irish hospital with a possible miscarriage.

Rash prediction: This tragic event, the recent signs of progress in Northern Ireland, plus the growing sulphurous stench around the Catlick Church in general will finally blast Ireland into the twentieth century. Won't be quick but it will happen.

I played a little fast and loose in the above post and got caught.

@BerthaWilsonMotion did post two links to what he clearly thought were two separate studies proving that women died from abortion too and that's totally equivalent to Sativa's egregious death-by-religion.

One study was retracted, so what?
Thing is, both links went to the same study, the abstract of which is available, NOT retracted.

It is in fact where I got the 'conclusion' I quoted above. Its main author is an abortion provider named Ellen Wiebe.

In my snarking at the fetus fetishist, whose approach to science is totally typical of the species, I implied that there was something fishy about Dr Wiebe's work.

There is not. I don't know why the one site categorizes it as retracted as it is still available at the original journal.

I apologize for my mischaracterization.

I did feel a bit squeamish about it though, which is why I quoted from it.

Now to the getting caught part.

Was I caught by some diligent fetish fetishist, who in a grand departure from her or his fellows checked my links?

Nope. I was caught by a better, more responsible blogger than I. The indefatigable Sixth Estate kindly contacted me in private so as not to embarrass me. Nonetheless, I got a well-deserved spanking.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how blogging should be conducted.

Now I'm outing my bad behaviour and resulting spanking and publicly thanking Sixth Estate for his efforts to set me and the record straight.

And again, I apologize to Dr Wiebe and her team.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The beating heart

Via Echidne, I saw this very sad story from Ireland:

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This poor woman is put through a horrifying ordeal and then dies, because:

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

Bolding mine. Via a commenter at Crooked Timber:

Bishop John Fleming wrote in the Irish Times yesterday that;

“Ireland, without abortion, is recognised as one of the safest countries in the world to be a pregnant mother … Clearly, if the life of the mother is threatened, by illness or some other medical condition, the care provided by medical professionals will make sure that she receives all the medical care needed.”

Via another CT commenter, the Irish Times again:

“I was with her those four days in intensive care. Every time they kept telling me: ‘She’s young. She’ll get over it’. But things never changed, they only got worse. She was so full of life. She loved kids.

“It was all in their hands and they just let her go. How can you let a young woman go to save a baby who will die anyway? Savita could have had more babies.”

“What is the use in being angry? I’ve lost her. I am talking about this because it shouldn’t happen to anyone else. It’s very hard. It has been a terrible few weeks, very hard to understand how this can happen in the 21st century, very hard to explain to her family.

One beating heart was offered up in sacrificial tribute to follow another.

ADDED by fh: PZ Myers's take. No, PZ, tell us what you really think.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Where are the clowns when you need them?


A question that used to be asked about cops, before incidents of unleashed violence, illegal brutality and sexual abuse seemingly became the operating mode and not an exception, this query seems more appropriate, in terms of clowns dealing effectively with some very nasty people.

The National Socialist Movement held a rally at the old City Hall site in Uptown Saturday.

The group says the annual event was meant to bring attention to illegal immigration and other crimes in the nation.

Leaders say they chose North Carolina because of the growing illegal immigration in this part of the country.

The rally drew hundreds but the majority were counter-protestors led by the Latin American Coalition. Anarchists and members of the Occupy movement were also in attendance.

Noise from the counter protestors who circled around NSM members largely drowned out the speeches made from a podium.

Some news reports claim the protestors outnumbered the NSM and KKK supporters 5 to 1.

More here and here.

Grand merci to Charles Johnson on Twitter.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Fake Clinic, Fake Charity

Time for the Vicious Abortion Crusaders to saddle up!

Just like the Ottawa Senators fiasco of a few years ago, another fake abortion clinic has weaselled its way into a xmas charity intended to benefit several community groups.

This time in Kamloops.
Shirley Bosman was excited.

"Oh, this is good news," she said. "This is great news."

Bosman is the executive director of the Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops, one of five local charities to have been selected as the beneficiaries of 11th edition of The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund.

The fund's selection committee completed the process last week and the five charities were notified on Friday.

Also selected were the Kamloops Food Bank; the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home; the New Life Mission; and the YMCA-YWCA Y Women's Emergency Shelter.
Now if the good people of Kamloops are aware that so-called crisis pregnancy centres are actually Xian-run anti-choice outfits that exist to lie, manipulate, shame, and guilt-trip women out of choosing abortion, fine. Go ahead and donate to the group 'charity' fund, knowing that one-fifth of your dough is going to religious zealots.

If they are not, they need to be wised up.

Judging from the comments, it seems quite a few people are well aware of the evil of these places.

For example, this from Cruick:
I will not support your cause this year. The Pregnancy Care Centre is a facade for an anti choice organization which only supports one option. I cannot believe that The Daily News has agreed to support this organization and thereby endorsing it as one which deserves our support. They do not provide information about birth control. They do not know about or refuse to give out information regarding "plan B" . They do not have medical professionals staffing their facility. There are so many worthy organizations deserving of our support, but this is not one of them. I am so disappointed. As a society we should be supporting organizations that promote Women's health and right to choose with all the facts provided by professionals.
There are lots more comments like that.

So, four other presumably worthy charities are going to lose out because of the inclusion of the fake clinic.

Let's help make sure that the generous people of Kamloops know what they're supporting. Maybe we'll be successful again in getting the clinic to remove itself because of the heat.

Win-win. More dough for real charities. More exposure of fake clinics.

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is on it.

So is the Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought. They've started a petition.
Remove Pregnancy Care Centre from Xmas Cheer fund.

In view of the fact that the Kamloops Pregnancy Care centre is an avowed anti choice organization which displays little concern for actual pregnant women and is in fact a vehicle for Proselytizing Christianity while denying women reliable information on options related to women's health we respectfully ask that the Kamloops Daily News withdraw it's Xmas Cheer fund support and redirect it to a more worthy and less controversial cause.
[Your name]
Lies and evil masquerading as 'charity' should not be rewarded.

Not Just for Theists Anymore

Collected for your edification from the non-religious corners of the internets and put up to go with the Woodworth WTF-freeverse-poetry-so-deep-it's-incomprehensible-Is-this-his-official-MP-page-paid-for-by-taxpayers?, I present the recording of an abortion debate held at the Texas Freethought Convention this year.

One reason I thought DJ! would be interested is because the pro-forced birth stance in the formal debate is being presented by a self-identified secular Canadian.

This Canadian, Kristine Kruszelnicki, who appears to be giving MP Woodworth not only fan props but a run for his forced-birth money by being solidly in the ranks of this Very Concerned Group Of Americans Who Kindly Let Canadians Join Up.

My biggest take away from what I've been able to scrape up on the 'scientific' defenses in play by these secularist vagina controllers is it's pretty much the religionist forced-birth ideology with the heavenly serial numbers filed off, complete with reinterpretations of science in what was termed American election night on Fox News as "math he does as a Republican to make himself feel better...?" (he being Karl Rove denying Obama took Ohio's EC votes).

The pro-women's-autonomy stance in the debate was taken by feminist ally Matt Dillahunty of the ACA, a gender irony he notes himself during the debate, but it seems it was his work that brought this hyperskeptical-evidence-thin secular pro-forced birth group to greater scrutiny in the non-theist community*.  He has since apparently stated he's willing to keep challenging secularist forced-birthers as often as they can match schedules.  Given that the ACA is also home to a strong core of feminists including Matt's partner, Beth Presswood, there could be some very interesting higher profile pushback coming up in the North American non-religionist communities.

I predict such pushback will garner greater cries of conflation between alleged immorality of atheism and support for legal, unfettered abortion.  Be interesting to see how that plays in Canada.

I dunno.  Is a non-religionist who still stumps for incubator status of women, a He-ist or an Aiiieeeist?

*bonus points.  DJ!'s blogroll biologist on matters embryological, PZMyers of Pharyngula blog, snaps like a dry twig and makes an appearance at the end of QnA.

Now, *This* Is Thinking Outside the Box

This is awesome. And a terrific, creative extension of the Occupy Movement.

From How to Sharpen Pencils (bold in original):
Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!

Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.
I had no idea how cheap 'distressed debt' is.

They're starting with a fundraiser/show -- that will also stream online -- on Thursday, November 15.

Donate and/or help spread the news.

ADDED: Video.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Actual Lame Abortion Analogy Hall of Fame (With BONUS Parrot-in-a-cage)

November 8, 2012: I started this blogpost back in April. But today I am INSPIRED! By this piece of batshit lunacy by none other than Stephen Woodworth, he of Woodworth's Wank, aka M312 or The Motion to Reopen the Abortion Debate That Was Thumped in Parliament Six Weeks Ago But That Certain Fetus Fetishists Won't Shut the Fuck Up About.

Now, back to April, 2012:

In the comments here, Ruaidhr said:
I've never been able to figure out why people can't understand how irrelevant "when life begins" is to the discussion.

You could implant Mahatma Ghandi in me, and it wouldn't take away my right to say "get him out of there!"
Which, of course, is a variant on Ye Olde 'What If [insert esteemed person's name]'s Mother Had Aborted Him' schtick. (It's almost invariably a 'Him', BTW.) Ruaidhr is original though. I've never seen Gandhi implanted before, only aborted.

Commenter Godel Noodle gives one of the standard rejoinders to that one. HIs specific is 'horrible abortion doctor', but Hitler, Stalin, Stephen Harper, etc., can also be inserted depending on audience.

Sensing we had a newbie to the Abortion Debate®, I sent GN to the Lame Abortion Analogies Hall of Fame.

But, gotcha! It isn't actually LAAHF. GN thought such a thing would be a grande idée.

I got googling. But to give GN a taste of the wished-for hell a-coming', I linked to JJ's Way Back Machine for Justice for Unborn TV Sets.

Here we have cars and eagle's nests. (And to answer any newbie's question at this point: No. There is nowhere they won't go.)

Unwanted automobile passengers is a standard. Another fave is body functions or body parts.

This one involves a party, unconsciousness, and surprise at being connected to someone who is using your kidney for nine months.

There are many variants on that one, Thomson's Violinist being the classic.

More on kidneys, specifically selling them, from deBeauxOs and JJ.

Slavery is often conjured up but as Ms Magazine observes, it works better for pro-choice.
The problem here is that the slavery analogy only makes sense if you believe having an abortion is somehow equivalent to owning a human being. (It isn’t.)
. . .
The slavery analogy makes much more sense as an argument for choice, not against it. Slavery is about losing one’s freedom and personal autonomy over one’s body and life. As Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, so eloquently put it: “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”
Then there's the Hitler-holocaust SHRIEEEEEK and its associated genocide SHRIEEEEEK.

Big Nurse Stanek magicks population control, China's one-child policy, eco-Nazis, death panels, and what-not.

And then there's the ever-popular unpopular house guest analogy.

They all rely on migraine-inducing pretzel logic and wildly absurd 'what-ifs'. They all FAIL.

Now here's someone who knows a thing or two about both analogies and pregnancy.
Having sat through too many evangelical sermons in my younger life, I’ve developed a strong resistance to arguments that draw on analogy. Most of the sermons I endured as a teenager and young adult were heavy-laden with analogies; now I can’t help seeing them as a recourse for lazy-mindedness (not always deliberate) and tendentiousness (usually deliberate). They’re useful for when you want others to believe something for which you don’t have concrete evidence, or which may contain many different truths that are unendingly complex, and the analogy helps you to focus on a single one.
. . .
Pregnancy is not much like organ donation; and it is certainly nothing even potentially akin to being a slave-owner or a (female supremacist) Nazi. (Seriously: those two last ones are central arguments of the anti-abortion movement’s desire to enshrine fetal rights. Anti-abortion advocates imagine that pro-choice women see fetuses as “subhuman”; therefore, much like Nazis and slave owners, they allow them to be eliminated at will. That leap of (ana)logic leads directly into the abyss of manipulativeness and dishonesty.) I’ve always seen the abortion-is-murder analogy as a shocking distortion of the reality of an unwanted pregnancy and the maternal-fetal relationship.

Actually in my googles, I found one that does work. Oddly, it's pro-choice.

Let's return to the tendentiousness that Woody rolled out in
M312, Fixed-Wing Technology and Ballooning. (See? There really is nowhere they won't go.)

Here's the last patronizing sentence:
Now do you understand the relationship between Motion 312 and abortion?
Indeed, we do, Woody. And did right from the start, despite your relentless duplicitousness.

BONUS! I found the elusive parrot-in-a-cage analogy. It was in the comments, now sadly memory-holed, at SUZYALLCAPSLOCK's place, but preserved for eternity by Canadian Cynic.

EXTRA BONUS: JJ explains the fetus = polaroid picture analogy I mention in the comments. Definitely one for the Hall of Fame!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The RAPEublican Train Wreck

While all the paid pundits are huffing and puffing about what went right for Obama and wrong for Romney, I'd like to offer my humble opinion.

The RAPEublicans' social policy was idiotic and DOOMED.

Federally, and in many state houses, they've been waging a relentless War on Women, culminating in an astonishing attack on contraception.

Elsewhere, several of their Neanderthal candidates fatally flapped their yaps on rape and magic lady parts.

They doubled down on Teh Geys, just as support for equal marriage grew to be the majority view.

They ignored all demographics except angry white men -- among whom, admittedly, they did well -- characterizing the rest as 'takers, not makers'.

They continued -- or didn't refute -- the moronic Tea Bagger demonization of Democrats in general and Obama in Islamic-atheist-babykilling particular.

Romney himself lied and lied and lied. And when he wasn't lying, he wasn't forthcoming with any details -- or tax returns.

In short, the RAPEublicans wrote off or pissed off just about everybody but white men.


(The Democrats weren't such geniuses themselves, but made some smart moves. This is a fascinating account of both campaigns and what they did and didn't get right.)

There's much hoo-hawing on the toobz today about shifting demographics, but there's one demographic that has not shifted. Women still make up just over half the population.

And they voted for Obama. The so-called gender gap was 18 per cent, up from 12 per cent in the 2008 election.

For me, the Republican campaign was the proverbial slow-motion train wreck. It couldn't succeed.

As far as I could see, they had only two aces in the hole: REALLY low voter turn-out and/or MASSIVE vote tampering.

As the WaPo story details, the Dems had a brilliant get-out-the-vote strategy and it worked a treat.

But despite that good work, I think some of the turn-out can be attributed to voters mortally offended at being dissed so thoroughly.

I think millions of Americans said to selves: 'OK, mutherfuckers, you don't want me and people like me to vote? I've got something to say about that.'

And they did.

Or as luna said last night:

Image source

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

US presidential election

The country to our immediate south has a different way of electing a federal government leader aka president for a 4-year term.

This Youtube hints at the complexity of their voting ballots.

Nonetheless, it would appear that, just as the Cons attempted to influence the voting outcome with the systematic targeting and suppression of non-CPC supporters, the RAPEublicans under the tutelage of Karl Rove are also using dirty tricks, such as giving people false information.  Robocalling is but one tactic.

Twice in the last few weeks, voters in Maricopa County, Arizona – Home of Sheriff Joe Arpaio – were sent notices by election officials telling them to vote on November 6 in English and November 8 in Spanish.

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, who is doing everything in his power to avoid counting votes, apparently defied federal courts yet again on Friday when issued an order that could invalidate legal provisional ballots.

Steve Rosenfeld reports, “Democrats in Denver are worried that their top local election official—who is running for county commisioner as a Republican—is not planning to deploy enough voting machines to easily accommodate polling place voters on Tuesday, particularly in racially mixed areas where Democrats are expected to do well.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott has also been a leader in making it hard to vote, leading to scenes like this – described as a 9-hour wait in what is obviously not a GOP stronghold.

Some excellent overviews, here and here.

Old-school ballot-box fraud at its most egregious was localized and limited in scope. But new electronic voting systems allow insiders to rig elections on a statewide or even national scale. And whereas once you could catch the guilty parties in the act, and even dredge the ballot boxes out of the bayou, the virtual vote count can be manipulated in total secrecy. By means of proprietary, corporate-owned software, just one programmer could steal hundreds, thousands, potentially even millions of votes with the stroke of a key. It’s the electoral equivalent of a drone strike. [...]

Meanwhile, the new millennium, far from delivering a democratic promised land, presented Americans with the debacle of the 2000 presidential election, whose fate hung absurdly on “hanging chads”—the little pieces of punched-out ballot so contentiously examined during the monthlong recount. Few Americans knew (and many still do not know) that a faulty computer memory card triggered this fiasco. Late on Election Night, Al Gore’s total in Volusia County, Florida, suddenly dropped when one precinct reported 16,000 negative votes. Fox News was immediately prompted by Florida governor Jeb Bush to call the election for his brother. On his way to a 3 a.m. public concession, Gore changed course when a campaign staffer discovered that he was actually ahead in Volusia County by 13,000 votes.

But the damage was done. Gore was cast as a sore loser in a hostile media environment. His effort to obtain a recount was described by Sean Hannity on Fox News as an attempt to “steal the election.” Meanwhile, George W. Bush invoked his duty to get on with the business of running the country. The rest, as they say, is history.

My prediction for the outcome is predicated on the RAPEublicans' manifest bottomless proclivity to cheat, lie and steal, as well as their deep financial resources from billionaires like the Kochs who would rather fund Romney and other GOP candidates than pay taxes for the public infrastructures they use or remunerate their workers fairly.

A stale-mate.  

In poll after poll, county after county, voting results will be invalidated, then challenged by both parties as countless errors, deliberate misdirection, illegal procedures and outright fraud are exposed.

A clear *winner* will not be declared tonight. There may be days of acrimonious accusations and quite possibly, zealots like Tea Party Hatriots will lash out violently.  It will be ugly, and a perfect reflection of what US politics has become.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

For HER and Fellow Travellers; a NutShell

A succinct tale of transition, following a puzzle clew of facts while seeking truth and ruth in the maze of religiosity and misogyny in the matter of unwanted pregnancies as experienced by human women.

Love, Joy and Feminism.

Not that this personal story will make a jot of difference to those blindly dependent on unquestioned received wisdom from their authorities, but I like the multi-layered aspect of a (gasp!) woman methodically using the tool kit of facts and reason available to our society to dig a better foundation for her passions.

*Inadvertent* Cop Brutality?

Or teaching kids what police can and will do to them?
Officer Chris Webb was attending “career day” at Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School when he sent 50,000 volts of electricity into the child’s chest on the playground. 
The young boy blacked out and has, according to his legal representative, been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since; the officer faces a civil suit. 
According to the complaint, Webb shot his Taser at the child (referred to only as “R.D.”) after he said he did not want to join fellow classmates in cleaning the officer’s patrol car.  [...] Webb responded by pointing his Taser at R.D. and saying, ‘Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.’

From here. More.

Such casual and callous disregard for a child's life because he gave the cop "attitude", such reactionary and self-protective response to the legitimate criticism that this was abusive - and illegal - police authority.

We've written much about the systemic and tactical deployment of cop brutality at DJ!, from brute force directed at adolescents, reprisal against someone reporting inappropriate police actions, sexualized violence and degradation of female detainees, to G20 security and SPVM accountability.